Udine, Italy — While the world continues to fight the coronavirus, one place hit the hardest is Italy where over 13-thousand have died, the most of any country in the world. there in the middle of it is former ETSU basketball player TJ Cromer.
Cromer, who led the Bucs to the 2017 Southern conference championship joins about 8 other ETSU players playing in foreign countries. He along with his wife and 2-year-old daughter has been lockdown for over a month in Italy and he’s not left the house in 18 straight days.
According to Cromer “It’s almost like a movie setting everyone is walking around with mask and there are only two things open and that’s the grocery stores and the hospital so everything is kind of like a dead city and they are only allowing 5 or maybe 6 people in the stores at a time, so me and my wife look at the death toll every day and it’s either going up or staying in the 700’s and that’s just really scary to know that 700 or more people are dying every day just in Italy alone from virus so it’s just a surreal moment honestly.”
Before the season was suspended just 5 days before the playoffs Cromer led the team in scoring with 16 points, 4 assist, and 4 rebounds. He’ll find out Friday if they plan to resume the season and if not he plans on trying to bring his family back to the states. And what he and his teammates didn’t take seriously at first, has all of them in shock now.
“Us in the locker room my teammates it was kind of like a joking matter like everyone else we were saying it was just the flu it was effecting older people and we just needed watch people we were around and then it blew up like coaches and doctors on the team the GM told us no more practices the league is shutdown try not to leave you house we don’t want anyone to get sick and that’s when it really got serious on my mind because no more practice I’m locked down in the house and then I was thinking about my family, said Cromer.”